Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants



Navigation

Client login
Forgotten password
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our blog

Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road
Kenley
Surrey
CR8 5NH

Tel: +44 (0)20 8668 8663 Fax: +44 (0)20 8668 8583
E-mail: fire@lwf.co.uk

Fire Safety Training, General Considerations


When we consider fire safety, we commonly reflect on physical precautions, such as fire doors, fire extinguishers and escape signage, but all of these can be complimented by fire safety training.  In fact, the adoption of fire safety training should reduce the risk of fire through several means, for example, fire ignition and fire spread.

Fire safety training is the generic term given which basically encompasses education relating to fire.  Whilst the vast majority of people will associate fire with danger, people commonly underestimate the risk posed by fire. 

The importance on fire safety training is highlighted by the fact that a significant number of ‘causes of fire’ are apportioned to human error; similarly, the resulting adverse effects can be increased due to people’s actions in the event of a fire.  On this basis, fire safety training can be used as a tool within the Fire Risk Assessment to reduce the residual risk.

Common problems identified that can be attributed to a lack of fire safety training include basic issues, such as storing combustible items adjacent to potential ignition sources, wedging fire doors open and staff being aware of deficiencies but not reporting them.  As previously discussed, the first two issues will have the effect of increased risk of ignition and subsequent fire spread respectively whilst the third issue allows defects to remain in place.

The level of fire safety training required will vary greatly depending on the occupancy, building and risk level posed.  For example, a small single storey warehouse employing 10 people will require very different training to a multi storey office block with 1,000 occupants (plus a significant visitor population).  Notwithstanding this, there are common areas within training, with the details varying to suit the building.  It must also be noted that the extent of the training must be in line with the Fire Safety Policy & Procedures for the organisation/building.  A key area for consideration in this respect is ‘first aid fire-fighting’ and the training afforded to staff to undertake this.

The main areas to be included within fire safety training are deemed to be:

Legislative requirements:  It is acknowledged that this may be an area that staff struggle to get enthusiastic about, however, staff should have a general appreciation that fire safety, as with much of the health and safety based legislation falls within their level of personal responsibility also.

Basic fire safety awareness:  Occupants should be provided with knowledge related to fire ignition/ fire spread and the conditions required to support combustion.  This can then develop into the dangers of fire and in particular, smoke.

General description of fire precautions/procedures:
  This should include whether the building has features such as a fire alarm, emergency lighting as well as the evacuation strategy in place.  The action to be taken on discovering a fire as well as the action to be taken on hearing the fire alarm should be covered.

Means of escape:
  Where possible, staff should be advised of the escape routes available to them within their place of work.

Fire compartmentation:
  Whilst this can be an area of technical expertise, staff should have a basic appreciation of the fire separation within the building and its reason for being there, an easy and common example is escape stairs.  If occupants understand that compartmentation is in place to reduce fire and smoke spread in order to facilitate their escape, this may reduce inappropriate practices such as propping open fire doors.

Portable fire fighting equipment:
  In most cases, this is the use of fire extinguishers.  There is much debate about the requirement for extinguishers and asking occupants to tackle fires, however there does appear to be some agreement in that persons should have, at minimum, a basic understanding of the types of extinguishers and their use, with a focus on using them only if trained to do so without putting themselves at risk.

The above provides a basic list on some of the areas where fire safety training should be used.  In many ways, due to the advantages gained from fire risk reduction as well as appropriate staff reactions, fire safety training can be viewed as a very simple and cost effective fire safety measure that should not be overlooked.

If you would like to know more – or would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your fire safety requirements – please call Peter Gyere, Marketing Director on 020 8668 8663.


Subscribe to our fire safety blogs

Bulletins
Email Format
* indicates required

FIRE SAFETY BLOGS

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & External Water Supplies - Part 24

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for Architects and other professionals involved in building design, we have been looking at firefighting and, most recently, the provisions that should be made for the Fire Service to attend and put out a fire. In part 23, we looked at the requirements and recommendations relating to the provision of fire hydrants and we continue from that point in part 24.The original standards for the installation of water...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Access & Facilities for the Fire Service - Part 58

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 57 of this series, LWF looked at what access and facilities must be provided for the Fire Service attending a fire at a healthcare venue. In part 58, we will continue from that point by looking at the number and location of fire-fighting shafts required in those healthcare...

    Read more...

  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Insurers & Property Protection - Part 5

    In LWF’s blog series for those professionals who work in facilities management or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at property protection and the role of the insurer. In part 4, some of the history that led to property insurance from fire was given and in part 5, we will continue looking at how different the early insurers could be from what we know today.While the...

    Read more...

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & External Water Supplies - Part 23

    In LWFs fire engineering blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at the subject of firefighting. In part 22, we gave information on some of the regulations and guidance documents which deal with the issue of provision of fire hydrants. In part 23, we continue from that point by looking at who should provide them and where they should be placed in relation to the building.

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Access & Facilities for the Fire Service - Part 57

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 56 of this series, LWF spent time looking at the access required by Fire and Rescue Service vehicles to healthcare buildings not fitted with fire mains. In part 57, LWF will continue looking at those measures which should be taken to ensure the Fire Service has access to...

    Read more...

Case Studies

The Wohl Neuroscience Institute - Fire Safety, Strategy & Engineering
Key Facts: Client: King’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute Project Manager: MACE Ltd Designers: Devereux Architects/Allies and Morrison Approximate Size: 7,400m2 Description of the Project:...

Read more..

General Bulletins

Fire - The External Risk
When we consider fire safety, our focus is normally from within, what can we do to prevent the occurrence of fire and how we can limit its damage.  Whilst this is the correct stance to take, we m...

Read more..

Technical Bulletins

Evacuation Modelling - Factor in Human Behaviour
Evacuation of buildings can be analyzed in different ways. Approved Document B (ADB) which provides guidance on meeting the requirements of the England and Wales Building Regulations with regard to fi...

Read more..

Site map | Web development London